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» Thanksgiving Crafts – Balloon Turkey

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This is a very fun craft item, but also a very messy one. So, before you start find a spot with plenty of surface area in which to work, and cover that table/countertop with a garbage bag that you tape securely into place. This will make clean up a great deal easier afterward.

First you need balloons of different sizes – large ones will become the body of the turkey, small ones can be the head of the turkey (or, if you prefer, you can make paper heads – discussed later in this article). Feathers are a nice touch, as are some craft noodles that can become feet for the bird and/or be molded to look like the bird’s snood (this can also be accomplished using an empty red balloon). Other ingredients for this craft include thinly sliced flower-shaped sponges, paper, flour, water, glue and paint.

Step one is mixing together flour and water into a paste. This needs to be thin enough for dipping. Use a large plastic bowl for mixing. To this foundation, you can add a little glue. This addition makes a sturdier finished item.

Next, have children tear the paper in strips about 1″ wide. Note: this doesn’t require any type of perfection. If the pieces are round, they’ll still make a functional turkey. One at a time dip the strips into the flour-water paste. Let excess paste drip off the paper then lay it over the balloon, smoothing it out. Repeat this process until the whole balloon has been covered completely with about two layers of paper. Let this dry for 24 hours.

While everyone is still messy, you can make some paper heads for the birds if you wish. In this case you’ll just be dipping a ball of paper into the flour-water. Form the ball around a dowel or a chop stick so that later you can easily attach it to the body of the bird. This will likewise need to dry for 24 hours. Note that both the body of the bird and head should be turned after 12 hours for even drying. You should not paint either of these until they’re completely dry.

At this point you can paint your birds whatever color you wish. Once the spray paint dries, pop the internal balloon and begin assembly. Use one slice of the flower-shaped sponge for between the head and body, and another at the tail section. Use a glue gun to secure the head and body together (the dowel or chop stick can be inserted into the body of the bird through the central hole in the sponge). A empty red balloon glued to under the neck creates the snood, and feathers adhered around the sponge in the back now make a turkey’s full foliage.

Add some of the craft noodles to each side of the bird to stabilize it and you’re done! Let’s talk turkey!


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